Sunshine List for Physicians

November 6, 2015

Dr. Carl W. Nohr, AMA President

Dear Member:

I had intended my next President’s Letter to be a follow-up on the fee review work being done by the Physician Compensation Committee. However, the government tabled a bill (yesterday) known as Bill 5: The Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act commonly referred to as sunshine legislation.

Here is a link to the announcement:

Here is a link to the department of justice description of Bill 5:

Here is what we know:

Bill 5 was introduced by the Government of Alberta to increase transparency by addressing the disclosure of compensation paid to a wide variety of public sector employees, appointees, physicians and other health practitioners.

This proposed legislation would require compensation disclosure for certain employees who work for health service agencies. The threshold for disclosure is proposed to be $125,000.

The Honorable Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, has indicated that parties impacted by this legislation will be consulted to help determine how to implement the act as the regulations are drafted. The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) has been specifically referenced as a body to be consulted.

For physicians, the disclosure will include fee-for-service payments and other types of payments made by the Government of Alberta, Alberta Health Services, the Alberta Medical Association and other health care entities such as Covenant Health. There will likely be direct implications for the AMA. Some government payments are made through our organization and there may be additional reporting requirements.

The first disclosure under the act will be June 30, 2016, but this timeline may or may not be implemented for physicians.

Here is what we will do:

I have already given several press interviews, emphasizing the principal issues of privacy and the risk attached to misunderstanding the figures, and that we will be consulting the membership about these and other concerns.

The desire for transparency needs to be balanced with the privacy rights of individuals. This will be a priority for the AMA.

There is also a major concern with the risk of misunderstanding what the numbers mean. Many physicians work very long hours to meet the need for medical services for Albertans and these hours are reflected in payments. Also, most Alberta doctors are small business operators, and contribute a significant portion of the fees they receive to the communities they work in, in terms of staff salaries, leases, and equipment and supply costs. Although associated with a particular doctor’s name, revenue is to the practice and is not the doctor’s income.

We appreciate that the government is going to consult with the AMA and include us in the development of the regulations attached to the legislation, and we will be paying careful attention to this.

We’ll be listening to you as we gather your feedback and concerns with Bill 5 and we’ll be relaying those issues to government.

Please let me know what you think about Bill 5. Please email me at or leave a comment below.

Kind regards,
Carl W. Nohr, MDCM, PhD, FRCSC, FACS


Commenting on this page is closed.

  • #1

    This comment has been deleted.

  • #2

    This comment has been deleted.

  • #3

    This comment has been deleted.

  • #4

    This comment has been deleted.

  • #5

    This comment has been deleted.

Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.